Changing your style isn’t for everyone

I’m not trying to be an old “fuddy-duddy” and I’m certainly not a prudish man, but I have to admit I was a little put off by the homecoming dress styles this year. I think it’s important to let your son or daughter dress in the current fashions. It helps them to feel comfortable among their friends and gives them the vision of being an adult, or at least, that they are growing up.

But who determines these styles? Most of the dresses I have seen pictures of were certainly not something that you could sit comfortably in. In many there was more skin than coat. How to get in and out of a car in such a creation? How to sit at the table and eat? How do you even dance?

My first prom was a big deal, especially for my mom. The current crush that I thought was going to ask me, didn’t. He didn’t even go. I ended up with a last minute escort who spilled some punch on my new dress and couldn’t dance.

Mother, which by the way was a fashion plate, and I had been to the next big city to find this dress. Her first comment to start the delicious shopping spree was, “Don’t even look at anything strapless because none of my girls will have to worry about her dress falling off in the middle of a dance.” (Remember, the most active moves we did were the bunny jump and the jitterbug.)

Cleavage was a word never mentioned, and frankly, before the days when hormones changed that, there was very little to see. When all was said and done I got a pretty lilac off the shoulder ‘Poofy’ dress that was worn with crinolines. He was ruined by the punch. Mom made our party dresses forever.

Of course, that was the time when girls only wore skirts and sweaters or blouses to school. No pants. Nothing above the calf. It was either very tight or voluminous circular skirts, and sets of twin sweater or shirts with Peter Pan collars. We had about three or four outfits each. All of the hair was worn roughly the same length and no one stood out.

One of my more daring friends had a “poodle cut” in her senior year and was the rather tall school star. And when crew cuts became popular with boys, they were seen as shocking. I’m only speaking for myself here, but I can’t remember anyone I know who yearned to be sexy. What we wanted was to be pretty and loved.

In my children’s generation, we experienced all kinds of hair imaginable, boys wearing bags and heels, but no one seemed to come out of the bag of rags yet. The next generation brought totally relaxed jeans, deliberately ripped, eye-catching or cropped hair, Doc Martins with dresses, and ushered in the “look at me, I’m so sexy” era. In my classes, students began to wear skirts, to be seen through and not seated, high necklines so revealing that it was hardly surprising, and heavy makeup.

In my big drama classes where the pupils tend to overdo it anyway, I hung a big man’s shirt covered with paint in front of the room and, (if you will excuse the language, because they understood this vernacular) I gently explained, “If I see any breasts, bellies or butt during class, you will be the proud wearer of this shirt.”

We all want to think of our children as innocent, that none of today’s styles will affect anyone other than their parents and grandparents. Life goes on, but in these days of full body tattoos, rainbow-colored hair, revealing clothes, and botoxed lips, all apparently in an effort to be attractive to women. Others, don’t you sometimes wish you could call it back a bit, cover it up a bit, and just be old, nice old man, good old man?

(Editor’s Note: If you know of a senior who is unique and deserves a story, please email Lee Elliott at [email protected] Please include their contact details so they can share their story with our readers.)

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